By Mohamad Sabu
December 31, 2019
The European Union and the United States have become dominating powers globally. The influence of the EU and US is widespread, strong and evident and their military capabilities are impeccable, especially with the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
On the other side of the world, there is another block of countries that has adopted the socialist or communist ideology. Despite the fact that we cannot accept their ideology and belief system, these countries have proven historically to be great in dominating their people through the “doctrine” of their struggle.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union gave birth to eight independent countries, but Russia remained very strong and firm, by dominating people’s way of thinking. The country also managed to become a great nation of military might and economic stance.
Meanwhile, Mao Tze Tung, who led the Long March alongside his comrades, succeeded in uniting China. Despite adopting a strong communist ideology that we, again, are not able to agree with, Mao and his associates managed to unite the Chinese people under one republic with the exception of Taiwan.
As we can witness in this century, China emerged as an economic and military superpower. Historically, Mao managed to unite the Chinese despite the use of brute force.
China’s progress and power have led to other great countries like Japan and South Korea to approach them despite warnings by the US. Japan and South Korea are slowly changing their direction by building a close relationship with China while remaining close allies of the US and European countries.
The same can be said about North Korea. With the military threats in hand, Japan and South Korea are approaching the country through dialogue.
The question is where is Islam and the Muslims now, after being left by the British, Dutch, Portuguese, French, Italian and other European colonists in Asia and Africa?
The Islamic countries gained their independence after the colonials were ousted or forced to leave.
Lately, we stand witness to how Islamic countries have become birthplaces of rich leaders.
Luxury purchases such as paintings worth millions of US dollars by these leaders were revealed in the news. They are also proud owners of luxury yachts, hotels and apartments in Switzerland, London, Paris, among many other places. They are also well-known for their casino sprees.
Islamic leaders, be it the presidents or kings, are known for their wealth and luxurious lives. To keep their country secure, they sometimes seek help from the major powers like the US, Britain or France, to protect their positions and thrones from being overthrown by their own people.
The fact is, Muslim-led countries are still the proxies of superpowers. The consequences of not being fully independent, especially in the way of thinking, have made Muslims weak.
Internal strife is too common. We witness how Muslim wealth and lives are so cheaply spilled in the Islamic world. Look at what happened in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and many others. In Afghanistan, the war has been continuously raging for more than 40 years and is sadly being fought between Muslims.
The dignity of the “Islamic Ummah” is weak and is not seen as a symbol of strength.
While socialist-communist countries could be proud of the strength of China and Russia, and the liberal-capitalist countries could be proud of the US, France, Germany, as well as the United Kingdom; what can we, as the Muslims, be proud of?
The Muslims always claim that we are the best; Islam as superior to the others. This is continuously being told in Islamic lectures and sermons; but the Muslims are still at the bottom in terms of economy, social justice and military capability.
Along came one man in his centenarian, the prime minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. He sees the epidemic, especially in the Islamic world, from the post-World War I to the World War II and up until now. He often raises the matter of Muslim’s weaknesses in both open and closed meetings.
The Muslims need to unite because they used to lead the world in economy, education and military.
As the most senior leader of the Islamic world, Mahathir is the most qualified person to talk about the unity of the Ummahs. Alongside leaders from Turkey, Pakistan, Iran and Qatar, he initiated the discussion on the unification of Muslims with the intention of liberating them.
At the very least, with ideas focusing on the future, the strength of the Islamic world could be improved and mobilized, earning respect from others. This very idea was translated into the Kuala Lumpur Summit (KL Summit).
The success of the KL Summit can be seen. Probably not immediately evident but the idea of the unification of Ummahs must continuously be pursued so that Muslims can freely discuss ideas, without the restrictions of sects, race and tribes that have often shackled the Islamic world.
The KL Summit is a platform for Muslims to seriously discuss how Muslims should be respected, how the strengths of the Islamic world should be portrayed and how wealth should be shared among Muslims, as what was done by the superpowers in the Eastern and Western blocks in ensuring the strength of their allies.
In the teachings of Islam, helping each other is a must, but contrarily, has never been done by the Muslims. It is ironically being practiced by others, who interpret the teachings of the Quran themselves.
Meanwhile, the Islamic world is consumed in disputes and wars, lacking in economy and education, and far from any military might. Therefore, the KL Summit should be supported.
Mahathir has set off something new to bring Islam and Islamic civilization back to the world on loan by Allah Almighty so that we are able to return to Allah by fulfilling the teachings of Islam.
In the Islamic world today, there are at least two countries that have emerged with great military capacity, namely Turkey and Iran.
Hence, we expect these two countries, together with Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia and Qatar to initiate the role of uniting the Ummahs and bringing Islamic enlightenment to light among the Ummahs of today and the future.
Mohamad Sabu, Malaysian defence minister and president of Amanah
Original Headline: What can Muslim countries be proud of?
Source: The Jakarta Post